Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has mocked the Christmas photo shared by Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, in which she poses with her children holding firearms.
Ms Boebert is the second member of the GOP to release a Christmas family photo that includes firearms for the whole family.
Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie garnered attention after he posted an image of his family holding rifles on Saturday with the message: “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.”
The photos were shared just days after the shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, which left four people dead and seven wounded. A 15-year-old suspect has been charged as an adult with terrorism and murder, among other crimes. His parents have been charged with involuntary manslaughter. They have all pleaded not guilty.
“Tell me again where Christ said ‘use the commemoration of my birth to flex violent weapons for personal political gain’? lol @ all the years Republicans spent on cultural hysteria of society ‘erasing Christmas and its meaning’ when they’re doing that fine all on their own,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
“When you pose in front of a Christmas Tree and can name all those guns but can’t name the gifts of the Wise Men,” she added.
The liberal political action committee Meidas Touch tweeted: “How much money did Lauren Boebert spend on weapons of war for her young children?”
“An AR-15 costs anywhere from $500 to over $2,000 on average. The median price is around $1,000 so let’s go with that. Boebert bought 4. That’s around $4,000 pre-tax … just to spit on the graves of four kids killed just last week,” they added.
“We will not be posting the deranged photo of Lauren Boebert and her young children holding weapons of war. Instead, let’s honour the teens who were murdered due to this fetishization of guns,” Meidas Touch wrote in another tweet.
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, a group working to address gun violence, tweeted that “this is a tragedy waiting to happen, and we should all be concerned for the Boebert kids”.
She added that Ms Boebert “has bragged that her guns are unsecured. This photo is exactly why we must keep fighting for stronger gun laws”.
Bruno Amato, Democratic candidate for Congress in California, tweeted: “I heard four young kids were gunned down this week, so here is a photo of my kids with their guns just to say f**k you to their memories. Sincerely, Lauren Boebert.”
Mr Massie recently compared vaccine requirements to the Holocaust and he pushed back on reviewing the use of bump stocks following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead, an event that even prompted the NRA to support administrative bump stock regulations.
“If we know anything at all about America’s gun fetish, it’s that the children are either props or targets,” Brett Pransky, a former Democratic candidate for the Ohio statehouse tweeted about Ms Boebert’s Christmas photo.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the 2018 Parkland school shooting in Florida, tweeted: “The irresponsible gun-owning parent @laurenboebert is likely raising a future school shooter or domestic terrorist. She may think her photo is a funny reply to Massie, it is not. While she was taking the time to post, a REAL HERO was buried because of gun violence yesterday.”
But Democratic leaders are hesitant to go after Republican members every time they do something they consider outrageous, and both legislators and staff members in the chamber have expressed concerns in private about punishing Ms Boebert since she didn’t make violent threats against Ms Omar, CNN reported.
Ms Omar has called Ms Boebert’s words “hateful and dangerous”, saying that “normalising this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims”.
“Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress,” Ms Omar said after Ms Boebert implied that Ms Omar had been mistaken for a terrorist on Capitol Hill.
The Independent has reached out to the office of Ms Boebert for comment.